Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression

Front Cover
The New Press, 2000 - History - 462 pages
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Good War A masterpiece of modern journalism and "a huge anthem in praise of the American spirit" (Saturday Review).

In this "invaluable record" of one of the most dramatic periods in modern American history, Studs Terkel recaptures the Great Depression of the 1930s in all its complexity. Featuring a mosaic of memories from politicians, businessmen, artists, striking workers, and Okies, from those who were just kids to those who remember losing a fortune, Hard Times is not only a gold mine of information but a fascinating interplay of memory and fact, revealing how the 1929 stock market crash and its repercussions radically changed the lives of a generation. The voices that speak from the pages of this unique book are as timeless as the lessons they impart (The New York Times).

"Hard Times doesn't 'render' the time of the depression--it is that time, its lingo, mood, its tragic and hilarious stories." --Arthur Miller

"Wonderful! The American memory, the American way, the American voice. It will resurrect your faith in all of us to read this book." --Newsweek

"Open Studs Terkel's book to almost any page and rich memories spill out . . . Read a page, any page. Then try to stop." --The National Observer

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
2
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - breic - LibraryThing

A bit of a slog. Less drama than I expected, less diversity (both in the interviewees and in their voices), and more interviews with the rich and privileged. As an oral history, it doesn't compare ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kcshankd - LibraryThing

Oral history of the Great Depression. The 'common 'man' interviews are the best, but Terkel interviewed many politicians and government officials as well. Contains the only interview I've ever read ... Read full review

Contents

A Personal Memoir and parenthetical comment
3
Jim Sheridan 13 Edward C Schalk
17
Lily Roy and Bucky 22 Tad
25
Ed Paulsen 29 Peggy Terry and Her Mother
45
Frank Czerwonka 35 Kiko Konagamitsu
51
Louis Banks 40 Fran
57
William Benton 60 Martin DeVries
74
MAN AND
82
CONCERNING THE NEW DEAL
249
Means 247 Joe Marcus
265
B Beanie Baldwin 254 David Kennedy
272
Wright Patman
282
SCARLET BANNERS AND NOVENAS
297
THE DOCTOR HUEY AND MR SMITH
314
Claude Williams
328
Christopher Lasch 338 Tom His Younger Son
343

Jane Yoder
84
Dynamite Garland
92
BONNIE LABORING
105
Evelyn Finn
112
THREE STRIKES
129
Edward A Ryerson
151
Mrs Winston Roberts
159
MEMBER OF THE CHORUS
165
Tony Soma
174
Dr Nathan Ackerman
195
Mary Owsley
201
Harry Terrell 213 Ruth Loriks His Wife
226
EDITOR AND PUBLISHER
236
100
348
MERELY PASSING THROUGH
353
A CABLE
359
Hiram Chub Sherman 3 63 Little Brother Montgomery
376
PUBLIC SERVANTTHE CITY
383
Elizabeth Wood 383 Sergeant Vincent Murray
391
EVICTIONS AR RESTS AND OTHER
397
Mrs Willye Jeffries 397 A Young Man From Detroit
411
Eileen Barth 419 Stanley Kell
427
STRIVE AND SUCCEED
441
17
452
EPILOGUE
459
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2000)

Studs Terkel was an actor, writer, and radio host. He was born Louis Terkel on May 16, 1912 in New York City. He took his name from the James T. Farrell novel, Studs Lonigan. Terkel attended the University of Chicago and graduated with a law degree in 1934. Terkel acted in local stage productions and on radio dramas until he began one of the first television programs, an unscripted show called Studs Place in the early 1950s. In 1952, Terkel began Studs Terkel's Almanac on radio station WFMT in Chicago. Terkel compiled a series of books based on oral histories that defined America in the 20th Century. Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do received a National Book Award nomination in 1975. The Good War: An Oral History of World War II won the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction in 1985. Working was turned into a hit musical in 1978. Terkel was named the Communicator of the Year by the University of Chicago in 1969. He also won a Peabody Award for excellence in journalism in 1980 and the National Book Foundation Medal for contributions to American letters in 1997. He died on October 31, 2008 at the age of 96.

Bibliographic information